Tuna Tar-Tart

I suck at everything. Probably more than you do. I enjoy experimenting with cheese and playing with glue sticks. You might know me from that other joint, LiveJournal.

Jul 222021
 

Alternately titled: Tune-Triggered Thoughts

Hasn’t been there in the longest time

The other day, Billy Joel’s “Longest Time” was playing on the radio in my bedroom and it reminded me of this time when I was in high school. I can’t remember who was looking for what in the kitchen, but all I said was simply, “That hasn’t been there in the longest time.”

My dad LOST HIS MIND over this. To this day, I still don’t understand why it was funny (probably like how no one understands my MAN WHO CROSSED THE STREET story) but he mocked me endlessly, repeated, “It hasn’t been there in the longest time,” in this hideous Valley Girl accent that I 100% DID NOT HAVE.

He would bust out with this slogan for years, at any given moment, similar to how he thought it was hilarious that my fifth grade class sang a song about our elementary school on graduation night, to the tune of Cameo’s Word Up, and he would walk around saying, “Gill Hall, yeah, Gill Hall” and just fucking lose his mind in laughter. I mean, just a few years ago, he was telling me about how he got a part-time at Gill Hall, and then he interrupted himself to rap/sing, “YEAH, GILL HALL.”

And this is why I think it’s so interesting that, even though he is not my bio dad, I am SO MUCH LIKE HIM IT’S WEIRD. Especially considering we didn’t even get along for more than half of my childhood.

Fuck the Locomotion

While making breakfast one day recently, I was listening to an 80s dance hits playlist on Spotify because, you know, when in the 80s kitchen…

Yadda yadda.

Everything was going great but then Kylie Minogue’s cover of the Locomotion came on and I was suddenly swaddled in a rage Snuggie. I hadn’t heard this song in quite some time, and the first thing it did was send me flying back to the late 80s, the finished basement of Elisabeth….we’ll call her BOLTZ. Back then, Elisabeth (never Beth, never Liz, never BETTY god forbid) and I were pretty good friends. I used to go to her house sometimes on weekends  to do crafts or whatever, maybe it was only one time actually, because the only memory I have of that was making beaded bracelets while watching Labyrinth for the very first time. Now that I think about it, I remember not liking her house because her dad was such a creep. His name was Donald (my dad called him The Donald, a la Trump, because he acted super high and mighty just because he was in charge of his father-in-law’s plumbing company, AND he used to talk in a Donald Duck voice at  my younger brother’s soccer games to make the kids like him I guess, who the fuck knows. Even back then I knew he was super lame.

Where was I…oh, in The Donald’s basement. This actually has nothing to do with him, so if you’re waiting for me to suddenly un-repress some gross lecherous memory about The Donald showing me his “plunger” in the basement, well….wrong blog but maybe I’ll write a flash fiction about that someday!?!? The real memory I had was being in Elisabeth Boltz’s basement for her birthday sleepover. I can’t remember if she was giving CASSINGLES away as prizes, or if everyone received one as a party favor, just that I was PISSED because I wanted Electric Youth and I wound up with the fucking LOCOMOTION instead. I mean,  it’s not like I couldn’t have just gone to fucking Waves or National Record Mart with MOMMY WARBUCKS and just buy the whole damn tape, cassingle be damned, but it was the whole point that I wanted ELECTRIC YOUTH right then and there, call me Veruca, I don’t care.

So now I’m standing in the kitchen, burning my eggs, fuming at this memory, even more pissed because I’m screaming ECHO, CHANGE THE FUCKING SONG, NEXT SONG YOU DUMB CUNT and it’s still just Kylie braying on and on about this brand new dance and now I’m thinking about Miss-Never-Bess Boltz and how in high school she was uber preppy and dating some star senior football player when we were still underclassmen, and she would roll up to school in some too-nice car looking like a goddamn equestrian and we never had a falling out or anything, but we definitely went different directions (my family was still way richer than hers but who’s laughing now, definitely not me HAHAHAHA ughhhh). I honestly don’t think we ever really talked in high school and it always drove me crazy that people thought she was so RITZY AND CLASSY when she had a perpetual sinus infection and would sniffle SO WETLY all of the time and her face always had that dripping faucet sag to it.

I have a spotty recollection of this part but Janna corroborated parts of it so I think this really happened, but at some point during senior year, one of our mutual friends approached me and started asking me questions about my vegetarian diet. The HARD QUESTIONS like: “what kind of supplements do you take” and other such bullshit. And I’m like, “Bitch do I look like I take supplements, I live off of cheese sandwiches for god’s sake” and it turns out they were asking me this because ELISABETH-IN-THE-RIDING-STIRRUPS over there had been looking uber pale and sickly as of late and claimed it was because she had “become a vegetarian” and her friends were calling bullshit on  this and it turns out they were right to question her new lifestyle because it turns out she wasn’t just not eating meat anymore, she wasn’t eating anything AT ALL.

I don’t know how that ever panned out, if all the PREPS had an intervention at the country club or whatever, but I guess she didn’t die because several years  post-high school, Chooch’s estranged godfather was living in some moderately high-class apartment building downtown and one day he saw her in the lobby of his building because of course she would happen to live there.

“SHE LOOKED ELEGANT AS EVER,” he gushed to me, and I was like, “OH COME THE FUCK ON, MISS SNIFFLES MCGEE OVER THERE?” I don’t care how elegant her clothes were, she was probably dripping snot all over them.

Well, now Present Day Erin is REALLY thinking long and hard about this girl so I had to look her up on the Internet because this is how modern people live their lives now. We put on a Netflix series that we’re barely paying attention on fall down “preppy anorexic fake equestrian” rabbit holes. I couldn’t find anything on her based on her maiden name, so I really did a deep-dive into The Donald and on his dumb plumbing website, I saw a mention of his SON-IN-LAW so now I had her married name and OF COURSE she’s a lawyer now but the best thing ever is that she looks like Hillary Clinton from the mid-90s in her professional headshot and that’s not a dig on 1990s Hillary Clinton, but a dig on the fashion and hair choices of someone who people called CLASSY and ELEGANT back in the day.

And she still has that sneezy look to her, too.

Anyway, thanks Kylie Minogue.

(Honestly I don’t even have anything against this person, not even in high school. We were far from nemeses – we just weren’t really anything to each other at all. Of course, when I told my mom about my findings, she was like, “What was her mom’s name, she was a bitch” LOL.)

Jul 212021
 

We’re leaving for “vacation” on Saturday (I don’t think Henry qualifies a 7-day road trip filled with 4 amusement parks as a vacation lol) and I am so ready. I even remembered to get a bunch of postcard stamps to take with me so we’re not driving around in search of post offices like usual. Oh, wow look at that, here’s a liveblog from the time we were on our way home from Charlotte in 2015, looking for a post office (and other things happened too, thanks Roadside America). I sure do love road tripping with these fools. 

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I wasn’t going to liveblog on the way home but let’s face it: what else is there to do when I’m in a car with Henry?

8:47: Henry is acting like a goddamn martyr because he has been doing all of the driving. We still have 7 hours left of the trip (we left Savannah late yesterday and drove to Charlotte, NC) and we’re all kinds of DONE. Henry didn’t even feed us dinner last night! I HAD CHEX MIX. :( Also we have been looking for a post office since we left Savannah yesterday.

8:48: Chooch: Where are we doing for breakfast? Henry: the post office.

Seriously though we spent so much time driving in circles yesterday because I typed “post office” into google and it told me to go to Orangeburg, SC. So that is how we ended up driving all around an industrial park in Orangeburg, SC looking for a post office so I could mail my postcards only for Henry to realize that my inability to read maps, or properly Google things for that matter, had led us straight to the Industrial Packing Supplies building. “Here it is!” I announced triumphantly. “THIS ISNT ANYWHERE CLOSE TO BEING A POST OFFICE, ERIN” Henry spat.

Ladies and gentlemen, Orangeburg.

But we got to see a rainbow!

9:20: we’re at the Tupelo Honey Cafe and Henry is currently not speaking to us.  lol forever.

This is definitely the type of place you come with people you enjoy talking to over brunch and HENRY IS NOT THAT PERSON LOL. Oh well, at least I have my backup: Chooch.  

Henry’s omelette came with a flower on the plate and now he’s even surlier. I had a delightful sweet potato pancake with peach butter and soysage and Chooch had eggs and homefries and actually ate the whole thing. I love this place but Henry is like exploding with hatred right now. He hates how all the men here are dressed in the same brand of strange-hued, fitted yuppie shorts.

10:05: One of the guys in yuppie shorts was asked to leave a few minutes after they got there because his female yuppie-partner was so drunk that she was laying across the table and the chairs and Henry said her dress was like wide open. They were walking back to their yuppie car in front of us and she was definitely drunk. It was a good example for me to show Chooch that rich people act like trashy assholes sometimes too. He’s learning lots on this vacation!

10:10: I enjoyed my time at the Tupelo Honey but Henry did not. “My food wasn’t from scratch!” he just whined. “The mushrooms and peppers in my omelette were from a CAN! That’s not FROM SCRATCH. They LIED.” Maybe a Bloody Mary would have helped him not notice.

11:22: Just left the Dale Earnhardt Headquarters, lol. I was like WE HAVE TO GO TO MORRISVILLE and Henry was all YOU HATE NASCAR THO? I just wanted to go and laugh.  

Me: Do you think they’ll have Tony Stewart stuff here?

Henry: THIS IS DALE EARNHARDT’S HEADQUARTERS WHY WOULD THERE BE TONY STEWART STUFF HERE.

Me: Do they have the car he crashed in?

Henry, appalled: NO! I HIGHLY DOUBT IT!

WHO KNEW?!

Chooch: Where are we again?

Henry’s favorite part!

Me: Do you think they have the outfit here that he died in?

Henry, mumbling at this point: Probably not.

At least it was free! Chooch got a souvenir penny but selected by mistake Dale Earnhardt Jr’s signature to be imprinted on it. I’m going to add an extra Jr to it so it’s like the band. (Even though they changed their name to Jr Jr a few weeks ago.)

I’m pissed because I wanted a magnet to boast that I was there but the gift shop didn’t have anything specific to the headquarters. Not even a Dale Earnhardt Headquarters is For Lovers t-shirt. I ended up getting some dumb NASCAR-ish photo magnet so I can just put my picture with Chooch in it I guess. Sigh.

Chooch’s main takeaway from this joint is that Henry looks like Dale (negative) and that we’re shitty parents who took him on the worst vacation ever because we wouldn’t buy him a notebook with Dale Earnhardt’s racing number on it. Cry it out, bro.

11:50: I think it’s safe to say that Henry reaaaaaallllly hates the Roadside America app. Also, my postcards were mailed. I know you were concerned about how that was going to play out.

12:07: Just accused Henry of not having any fun this whole trip and he said “I never said that. I’m just sick of you two.” BUT THEN HE SORT OF SMILED A LITTLE. So I took that as my opportunity to demand iced coffee.

2:02: We just left Mt. Airy, NC, the home of Andy Griffith and a Mayberry Shangri-la.


Chooch was like “This is great but who the fuck is Andy Griffith?”

We skipped the actual Andy museum tour, but there was a free Chang and Eng gallery in the basement that we were able to quickly access.

Roamed around Main Street for a while and then visited Wally’s Service which is where you can take tours of the town in an old Mayberry squad car.

I went inside to get my dad a coffee cup and to also snag some postcards since we had previously driven past the post office so I could easily mail them. Chooch almost made it out of the store without incident but right as I opened the door to leave, he barely touched a toy car on a shelf with one finger tip when the woman behind the counter snapped at him to not “play with the cars.” OK BITCH BROAD. HAVE A NICE FUCK YOU.

There was a replica of the jail next door so we stopped over there for some photo ops. Chooch took this one of me and then posted it on Instagram without my permission but luckily the cell bars and my layers are blocking some of my fat bulges.

Encountered a rude bitch lady in there, too. She was just a tourist like the rest of us so I don’t know where the superiority was coming from.  
And now Henry is pissed because we’re back on the highway, stuck on accident traffic and Chooch and I keep unplugging the GPS in order to charge our phone/Nintendo DS.

3:02: Still sitting in traffic approx. 5 miles away from Mayberry. The Hells Angels are with us, though!

3:52: Henry made us pee at idiot Love’s, a gas station that was infested with people who, like us, had been sitting in traffic for over an hour, but of course they were all way more annoying than my perfect family.

Also, we’re currently in Virginia. Henry has said that he hates approx. 87 times today. I said I was sorry for breathing and he laughed sardonically and cried, “No you’re not! Who are YOU kidding?!”

And then his idiot self bought Chooch CANDY. Yes, that makes sense.

Chooch just asked if today is August 1. Like, get a fucking calendar.

5:06: Octavia recommended a pit stop in Pulaski, VA so that’s what I’m making Henry do right now and he’s pissed. He has reached the point where he only communicates in head shakes and moustache twitches.


But first, this overlook thang!

5:33: Huge fight because Henry wouldn’t stop anywhere “downtown” Pulaski and then some guy came out of nowhere doing about 70 almost wrecked into us, Earnhardt-style, but now we’re sitting quietly at Tom’s Drive In while a big table of locals talk in hushed tones about Chooch’s hair.


The man standing is really excited because he went outside to buy the newspaper and it was from TOMORROW! A paper from the FUTURE and it only cost A DOLLAR!

Ah, local flavor.

5:57: Thought Chooch was staring at one of the younger girls this whole time but eventually realized it was the OLDER GIRL WITH PINK HAIR. She came over before she left and said, in the perfect drawl, “I like your hair…” And Chooch’s face almost burst into flames.

It smells weird in here and there’s no a/c but it was worth it for the people aspect. The two young kids working here are super personable.

Cheapest meal on the whole trip, not counting the CHEX MIX DINNER I had last night.

6:52: We’re stuck in traffic again! Henry pointed out that we still have five hours to go before we’re home. “it’s like we made no progress today. It’s like we went BACK IN TIME” and now he’s muttering. Then Chooch asked him what our next vacation is going to be; Henry turned around and breathed fire into Chooch’s face.

7:34: Listening to a Koo Koo Kanga Roo podcast where someone said “follow your dreams.” Chooch freaked out because he thought they said Paul Eugene. Now he’s calling us Ma and Pa and I’m freaking out.
9:24: Three hours from home but at least we’re in West Virginia now! Stopped at a gas station in Mt. Nebo for refreshments; it had the cutest diner attached to it.

 West Virginian coffee station. I was pissed when I learned that there was a Sheetz down the street. “Why,” Henry sneered. “You hate their coffee too.” It’s true, but really it’s just their iced coffees. They just always taste so gross to me, like they use Lip Smackers for their flavoring.
  
The bathroom was sketchy upon the initial entrance, but the stalls were surprisingly clean and provided great reading material.

 THREE MORE HOURS.
Idiot Chooch got a bag of BBQ chips and is eating them with open-mouthed panache. YELLING AT HIM HELPS NOT.

9:52: Chooch is sleeping! FINALLY! I’m so excited that I licked Henry’s arm!

10:42: Henry just sped up at the same time someone was creeping up on us from the right lane and I screamed, “STOP TRYING TO RACE HIM! OH GOD, HE MIGHT SHOOT US.”

“Why is he going to shoot us?” Henry (kind of) laughed.

“I don’t know! Maybe he’s in a gang!” I defensively reasoned.

“The pick-up truck gang?” Henry sighed.

IT’S BEEN A LONG DAY. So long that Henry just deliriously whispered, “Bye bye, Guy from Ontario” when some car that Henry recognized as one that passed us twice while we’ve been on this this highway in WV, drove away down the last exit.

10:53: KNUCKLE PUCK, CARRY US HOME. I just want to wash my face. For hours.

11:22: Pennsylvania just welcomed us. One more hour!! I hope henry doesn’t think I’m going to help carry anything into the house. Lol.

11:45: Fuckface Henry stopped “to get gas” at Sheetz so now our arrival has been pushed back to 12:45. WHYYYYYYY, TONYA HARDING???? WHYYYYYYYY? Anyway, I went into Sheetz to pee and Talking Head’s  “Psycho Killer” was playing. I got really paranoid.

12:18AM: Carly Rae Jepsen and her sweet pop sensibilities carrying us down the home stretch.

12:44AM: OK WE’RE HOME GOOD NIGHT.

Jul 202021
 

Today, I’m challenging myself to not word-vomit all over this thing because I’m sure whatever readers I have left are sick of the amusement park recaps. So let’s be succinct! Succinct is seccy!

OK, that’s not ever going to be a thing. Sorry for testing that out publicly.

Anyway, there were several reasons why we chose to go to Waldameer on Sunday:

  • it’s only about 2 hours away so it’s a nice little day trip
  • it’s free admission if you’re not riding, which Henry LOVES
  • they got a new SBF Visa Spinning coaster last year and Chooch wanted that credit
  • they retracked part of Ravine Flyer III and I wanted to try that…new wood out

The spinning coaster was trash, as expected. The ride operator cycled it five times and I hit my head at the same spot every time, you’d think I’d learn.

I love Comet because it’s a very cute family coaster, and actually was less rough than I remembered.

Henry’s only responsibility is to hold our phones and take pictures of us being adorbs on the rides. And also foraging for snacks for us too.

Look at the beastly Ravine Flyer hill in the background. Bless.

You guys can literally NOT go to Waldameer and not ride the Whacky Shack, I’m goddamn sorry but that ain’t happen’ on MY watch, mothercheffers. This is one of my favorite classic dark rides of all time!

The line for it was actually “long” (by Waldameer standards, anyway; I’d say we waited for a whole whopping 15 minutes) and people were seriously exclaiming, “OH WOW THAT LINE IS LONG!” and turning around. Like wow don’t go to Cedar Point, then lullll. This one old lady got into line and as she passed me in the queue, she looked me point blank in the eyes and asked, “Tell me the truth: is this ride worth it?” I was so put on the spot! People around us were looking me with great expectation twinkling in their eyes!

“Um, think it is,” I said with faux-confidence and Chooch sighed, “Ohmygod” under his breath because anytime MOMMY talks to a STRANGER it is très embarrasing, you know.

There’s Henry hulking in the background with FOODS. Also, I love the Whacky Shack cars! As soon as we sit down inside them, the musty scent of a 1950s tool shed overwhelms the senses. Nostalgia for something I have never actually lived through.

WHACKY SHACK!!!

Post-Whacky Shack family portrait featuring Chooch’s phone that he never puts down because OMG DISCHORD FRIENDS.

Pirate’s Cove is another great dark ride, but this one is a walk-through and I just love it so much! It’s dark and dangerous, oooh.

I made Chooch ride the Paratroopers because KENNYWOOD removed theirs so who knows how often we will get to ride this now!?  The ride operator was having black outs I think because he was running 4 minute cycles. (Chooch timed ours and it was 4:33,) It was definitelt the longest we stood in any line that day and not because of the amount of people in front of us!

You can tell Chooch really wanted to ride this. Also, I had to scream, “TAKE OUR DAMN PICTURE HENRY ALL THE OTHER DADS ARE DOING IT!!” from the air because Henry was being annoying about not wanting to take photos of his adorable family having A TIME on  the Paratroopers. He really needs to work on this.

Yeah, Ravine Flyer II! Henry used his “Wally Card” to ride this – Waldameer is a cash-free park so you have to get a “Wally Card” and put money on it. Then you can scan it for games, food, etc and it’s pretty handy if you only want to go to Waldameer to ride the Ravine Flyer II and don’t want to buy a $37 ride-all-day wrist band – you can get a Wally Card and put $4.50 on it and take one joyride on the RFII and then split. It’s pretty good for grandparents too who want to be able to go to parks and chill with the grandkids without spending $$$ on a wristband they’re not going to use, but perhaps they’d like to take a spin on the carousel with Jimmy and Susie.

Kennywood used to be like this, with a ticketing system as well as the ride-all-day option, and it was so nice. I wish they still did that so, for instance, Henry’s mom could tag along with us sometime without having to spend like $40 just to walk into the park.

Corporate sell-out! I’m so mad at Kennywood.

(I mean, I will probably still go there once this summer but THAT DOESN’T MEAN I FORGIVE THEM for putting in STEELERS COUNTRY and removing FOUR ICONIC FLATRIDES. Fuck you, whoever owns Kennywood.)

(I know who owns it but I forget at the mo’ and don’t care enough to look it up, but I hate them.)

PUDDIN’ FACES in line for Ravine Flyer.

Chooch waited longer to ride in the back again and we tried to embarrass him by taking his picture like it’s BABY’S FIRST SOLO COASTER RIDE or something.

THERE HE GOES, MY BAYYYYBAYYYY!

He comes back, MOMMY’S LITTLE BRAVE BOY!!!

Love this ride but it felt like the second half was crawling. I kept saying that to Henry and Chooch and no one was agreeing or disagreeing so that leads me to believe they weren’t listening to me as usual. Especially Chooch who never misses a chance to offer a dissenting view.

Oh shit I forgot to mention that after the Whacky Shack, Chooch and I sat a nearby table with Henry, who had bought us cookies and soft pretzels (mmm, lunch) and I purposely waited for the old lady to make it through the Whacky Shack so I could ask her if she liked it. She said YES SHE DID, IT WAS CUTE.

Then I said OK GOOD I WAS WORRIED.

And then she said OH NO, YOU’RE FINE.

And then I was satisfied so we continued on with our day.

This bucket seat may have been the most uncomfortable of any swing seat I’ve sat in.

This was Chooch telling me that the stink bug on the seat in front of him was still  there.

On the swings with us was a dad with shitty tattoos that looked like they were penciled onto his skin by a toddler, in case you were wondering what kind of clientele you could expect to see at Waldameer. Very creepy and concerning.

Wasting $$$. (Actually, he won a little Nemo at this game and then later won a bigger thing that we can’t figure out what it’s supposed to be but it’s cute, and then I won a little pink dolphin throwing darts at balloons but I gave it to Henry’s granddaughter Lily yesterday because I don’t want more clutter in the house.)

The Music Express always makes me so giddy and this one is ESPECIALLY FUN AND WILD and the ride operator makes you scream. I love when ride operators ask for rider participation! Meanwhile, Chooch was mad because I took a selfie with him before the ride started and then a ride attendant came over and told him he’d have to put his STUFFED ANIMAL in his pocket OR DOWN HIS SHIRT before the ride started and for some reason this made him really embarrassed and that just made me laugh harder AND THEN DURING THE RIDE the same ride attendant motioned for Chooch to hold on to the bars in front of us and he was like OMG WHY WON’T THIS GUY LET ME LIVE MY FUCKING LIFE.

Wasting more $$$.

Chooch is REALLY INTO CAROUSELFIES.

Henry moved to a horse closer to me after I took the carouselfie and I was like, “OH HELLO, DID I INVITE YOU TO JOIN ME?” God, let me breathe!

Lol, left Chooch in t he dust. He truly cared.

Carouselfie in the mirror.

We made it through the whole day (well, we were really only there for about 4 hours, so…) without fighting once. Usually we at least argue over food because we act like goddamn scavengers. But not on this day!

Welp, I think I failed at keeping this succinct and seccy but it’s probably definitely….succy. OK OK OK I’ll stop.

Until next week when we go to FOUR AMUSEMENT PARKS IN ONE WEEK FOR MY AMAZING AMUSEMENT PARK BIRTHDAY ROADTRIP that was supposed to happen last year but didn’t because, well, you know why so we’re going to attempt it this year instead! Unsubscribe now!

Jul 182021
 

Woo boy a blog post from the road! We spent the day at Waldameer Park in Erie. On the way home, we stopped at AUNT BEE’S for dinner. You might remember when Chooch and I went to AUNT BEE’S in 2019.

Anyway! Now Henry got to experience the joy that AUNT BEE’S brings to the bellies. (I really should have went into advertising, I fucked up.)

COLESLAW CHOMPING CANDID

Grilled cheese is not on the menu but when I asked the waitress in a meek, pleading “excuse me ma’am” tone of an orphan beggar if it was possible to get one, she exclaimed, “Of course!” and gave me a look that could have been mistaken for a “who hurt you?” eyeball inquiry.

She even let me CUSTOMIZE IT so I got to enjoy a grilled cheese on FUCKIN’ RYE BREAD, MUTHAFUCKAS.

It was DELECTABLE.

Henry ordered the Belly Buster because of course he did and I heard the COOK come out of the kitchen and say to out waitress, “WE DONT HAVE SWISS CHEESE FOR THE BELLY BUSTER” and she was like “ok I will tell him” but I already had told Henry in dramatic fashion. And then Chooch and I laughed bc we like it when a restaurant if out of something henry wants.

When the waitress came over to tell him, he of course already knew and sarcastically said “oh no” and it came out so awkwardly and now I think I’m going to be forced to pass a household decree that states Henry is no longer permitted to speak to waitstaff.

Ok but really there is a reason I’m writing this post at all. And here it is:

I knew before even setting foot into AUNT BEE’S that I would be getting pie for dessert because the last time we were there, we had already had custard before eating dinner and we were all too full for second dessert. But sometimes family restaurants have REALLH GOOD PIE and I needed to know.

I really wanted Cherry but that wasn’t an option. They also had coconut cream which is actually one of my faves but sometimes places can really fuck that shit up so it tastes like a chunk of congealed vanilla pudding with gross meringue sprinkled with dried coconut. PASS.

I opted for blueberry, and Henry went with coconut because, in his own words, he’ll “eat any kind of coconut cream pie.”

Yeah he will.

I dunno what I’m insinuating there.

When our pies arrived, they were kind of puny. I knew immediately I wasn’t going to be a fan of mine. It was like, thick blueberry jelly in a pie crust. It had a very unnatural, this is not of the earth consistency to it, like was it even made with real blueberries?

I swiped a bite of Henry’s coconut pie after he said, “oh this is pretty good” and I AGREED that while it wasn’t a GREAT coconut cream pie, it wasn’t the worst and it had whipped cream on the top in lieu of merengue which is the best way to serve up a coco-cream, in my extremely esteemed opinion.

I made a sad face and said, “yours is so much better than mine” and then I sighed very aggressively.

So Henry muttered something under his mustache and switched our plates so now I had the coconut! Yay!!

As we pulled out of the parking lot, I groaned that my stomach hurt.

“Mine too, from that blueberry pie,” Henry mumbled.

I laughed because yay, Henry + pain. “Why, don’t you like blueberry or something?” I antagonized.

“No, I don’t!” Henry sighed. “When have you ever seen me order anything with blueberry in it?”

Lol like I pay that much attention to him.

Henry eating stuff he doesn’t like just to avoid me having a tantrum could have been written into the vows of our imaginary never-wedding. 💜

Jul 172021
 

I can’t remember if that’s what Part 1 was titled and I’m too emotionally exhausted to go back and look because I just watched a new special Taemin video that SM Entertainment released today in an effort to feed the starving Taemints and now I’m weak and have pressure behind my eyeballs from crying so please leave me alone.

8. The King of Crows – Libba Bray

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Hey, speaking of crying – finishing the Diviners series really did it to me. I can honestly say that I haven’t loved a book series this much since Harry Potter (you know, back before we knew that its author was a disgusting TERF). It’s really got it all: a ragtag, diverse cast of characters that will steal your heart, snappy dialogue, an exciting and original supernatural plot, and a historical setting that might actually teach you some things while also making you run to the nearest Party City for some flapper accessories.

And if you’re an audio book type of person (fuck it, even if you’re NOT), January Lavoy narrates all 4 books and she is a TREASURE. I’ve raved about all 4 of these books and will continue to do so until my deathbed days, probably. Oh, and I even got Henry into them – he just finished the fourth book recently too and we had a full five minute book club about it because, you know, Henry.

Oh! The only complaint I have about these books, if I have to have one, is that the book covers are terrible. Well, the first one is nice, but they all go downhill from there. The publisher did Libba Bray dirty.

9. Umma’s Table – Hong Yeon-Sik

Umma's Table

Don’t let the adorably whimsical cover fool you – this is one depressing graphic novel. I read it in the car in our drive to Cedar Point last month and had to keep putting it down because it was making me so sad. If aging parents is a trigger for you, skip this one. I just kept thinking about mortality, fear of getting older, of being a future burden to Chooch, all of these things that we really love to think about while in a car driving to a place where we’re supposed to be have fun, lol. It was a real downer, but also very beautiful. It will make you want to slow down and appreciate what you have, while you have it.

10. The Other Black Girl – Zakiya Dalila Harris

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OK this was a wild thriller! Nella works at a book publisher and is the token black girl until one day when another black girl is hired. At first, Nella is like THANK GOD but this new broad – Hazel – quickly becomes super popular in the office and eventually gets opportunities that Nella feels should be hers. But then there’s this crazy sci-fi twist to it that takes it the next level and I couldn’t imagine how the hell this thing was going to end. I thought it was super smart, witty, and fraught with tension.

There was also a part that I low-key related to where Nella is training Hazel and the whole time, Hazel is questioning the process and saying things like, “Yeah, but, shouldn’t we do it this way instead…” and then she criticizes a spreadsheet that isn’t alphabetized and laminated and I was like OH SHIT THIS SOUNDS FAMILIAR because I recently went through a similar sitch with a new person I was training and I gotta say, I felt a bit triggered lol.

11. The Last Thing He Told Me – Laura Dave

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One day, Hannah’s husband goes missing and the last thing she heard from him was a written note that says “protect her.” So now she and her teenage step-daughter, with whom she has a very strained relationship, set out to try and figure out what the hell happened. I would say it’s more of a mystery than a thriller, and I found it to be pretty interesting. I really didn’t expect this book to make me burst into tears at the end, but there we were!

12. The New Husband – DJ Palmer

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A very middle-of-the-road thriller. Pretty predictable. I liked that the book alternated between the POV of the wife and the teenage daughter, and definitely much preferred the daughter’s chapters. This book wasn’t terrible by any means, but it also didn’t blow me away. Lots of gaslighting though so I basically felt like I had an entire nest of hornets buzzing through my veins.

13. Meet Cute Diary – Emery Lee

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Hey, you knew there was gonna be a YA book in here somewhere! Noah is a high school trans boy who writes a blog about meet cute stories for the trans community, except that they’re all made up by him and then he gets exposed for being a fake so some dude offers to fake-date him so that Noah can save his blog (and face). There’s a lot of toxic behavior going on in this book, and it also taught me about the “eir” community – look, I am way behind on this stuff but I am learning slowly OK!?

The main character, Noah, is actually quite insufferable, but Devin is the one who saves this book in my opinion.

14. Astrid Sees All – Natalie Standiford

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Um. I picked this up because it was set in NYC club scene in the early 80s but…what? Huh? This book had NO VIBES. The only 80s bones that were thrown were sporadic mentions of Andy Warhol walking by, or JFK Jr being at a college party. And the plot, was even was that? The timeline kept jumping around too and it made no sense to me. Too many characters that I couldn’t keep up with. Drugs. A dad died. Yeah, this book was pretty much a waste of time.

****

Well, that’s all for June. I’m going to try and get Henry to guest post next week for his summer book recs since he has been tearing through the audiobooks at work. Don’t hold your breath!

Jul 162021
 

Henry and those FUCKING SOCKS, tho.

Anyway!

Our Saturday was very bipolar. Well, in my head it was.

Or did I mean to say, I’M very bipolar?

Not Saturday.

Never mind.

It started out with Henry showing up at some bakery in Squirrel Hill, the name of which is escaping me, because they’re always going on and on via Instagram about how fantastical their chocolate babka is. Apparently, they use coffee and cardamom in their recipe and hello, I, Erin Rachelle, love these flavors. But every time Henry goes there, they’re sold out.

This time he was determined and got there before they even opened and managed to snag an entire loaf of the elusive baked good, even though we only wanted, like, a piece or two.

Nevertheless, he strode through the door like the loaf under his arm was actually his knight’s beistle and he had just returned from fighting a war against the Squirrel Hill serfs.

And you know what, you guys?

Not worth the hype.

I mean, the babka, but I guess also kind of Henry too? LOL j/k Henry, don’t be mad, I still need you to finish some projects.

Where was the coffee flavor? And not even a HINT of cardamom. I mean, it didn’t even taste like it was baked with cardamom IN THE SAME ROOM, let alone INSIDE OF IT.

So then he mentioned something about a vegan bakery in New Kensington that recently opened, and that is where the TOP PICTURE comes into play because I was like, “Fuck this babka, let’s go get vegan stuffs.” (Also, I should mention that 350° Bakery has RUINED us for babka because theirs’ is DELECTABLE and basically the only babka worth the calories.

It is also the only other babka I’ve had, so….lol.

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT BABKA IS: A babka is a sweet braided bread or cake which originated in the Jewish communities of Poland and Ukraine.

Chocolate Babka Recipe | Chocolate Desserts | Food & Wine

(From Food & Wine.)

ALLEGRO! Sorry, that’s the name of the bakery in Squirrel Hill. Allegro. I won’t be back for the babka, but their chocolate chip cookies are immaculate.

We made it to Sweet Alchemy right as the owner was about to close up shop for the day, but she took pity on Henry, who looked so desperate with his tap-tap-taps on her pick-up window. She still had some stuff left so we (well, Henry, I stayed in the car because I didn’t know what was going on and didn’t want to look like a fool knocking on a bakery window) walked away with some pop-tarts, a maple twist thingies, and a blueberry cake donut.

EVERY SINGLE THING WAS A SUGARED MIRACLE SENT DOWN FROM THE OVENS OF HEAVEN (the vegan branch).

Totally worth the drive out there even though we got stuck in traffic on the way back because there was a one-way lane and the road worker guy decided to let an entire biker parade pass through. I was LIVID.

“Bikers are my least favorite kinds of Americans!” I seethed at Henry who kept telling me to calm down which meant that he was about to pretend that our Hyundai Kona was his valiant steed in order to WHITE KNIGHT in style whatever fucking biker gang this was that had the audacity to hold up my day.

“And the women, especially! Ew look at them, all smug and trashy, clutching onto to the distended torsos of their MANS. So gross! FUCK YOU, INSURRECTIONISTS!” I screamed and Henry was like, “ERIN. YOU CANNOT JUDGE. YOU DO NOT KNOW THAT THEY ARE TRUMP SUPPORTERS.”

Oh, trust me, I knew! Just like I knew that if they weren’t PERSONALLY storming the Capitol on January 6th, they were watching it on the TEEVEE in their shanty by the CRICK, cheering it on, hootin’ and hollerin’. Whatever noises biker bitches make, while their burgundy lipsticks spills out into the creped skin around their too-thin lips.

UGGHHHHHHH1!!!!!

“I don’t know why you’re getting so mad about this,” Henry said as one of the bikers roared past with a giant TRUMP flag billowing in his wake.

“I just wish I had a partner who UNDERSTOOD me,” I cried, feeling alone as usual in my unwavering morals.

“Erin, no one will ever understand you,” Henry sighed.

OMG WHY CAN’T THE MOTHERFUCKER JUST WHITE KNIGHT ME FOR ONCE!!??

*deep breath*

Then we went to Target and Henry refused to buy another cardboard cat house “because we’re always tripping over the ones we already have” and huge correction there: not we, but HENRY is always tripping over them because he’s a big ass fe-fi-fo-fum oaf.

Somewhere along the way, “It’s My Life” by Talk Talk came on and I got angry all over again, this time because I was reminded of how GWEN STEFANI and her shitty cat mewling voice ruined this song for me for a long time. “She sucks,” I said to my forever audience of one, Henry. “And so does Blake Shelton. What an asshole.” Henry just kept driving in silence, probably hoping I didn’t turn on him next.

I also ranted about BTS and then cried about BIGBANG. It was a very full day of me desperately needing to hear the sound of my voice, I guess. That’s what happens when you’re in the house mostly alone all day and only communicating with your co-workers via Jabber and your teenage son sleeps until noon and then leaves the house in search of something better.

Sigh.

Then things got better that night when I made Henry watch Fear Street 1994 – it was EVERYTHING I NEEDED AT THAT MOMENT, HOLY SHIT. I mean, mostly for the music. There was one scene in the beginning that opened with Bush’s Machinehead in the background and I was AWASH, A-MOTHERFUCKING-WASH, with nostalgia. 1995, tooling around Southside with Lisa and Melissa a/k/a Martha a/k/a Poptart, rolling my eyes at their penchant for the grungey alternative things in life when I was a flamboyant yo-girl, though secretly really into their music too. Anyway, Martha LOVED Bush and I can’t believe how long it’s been since I heard any of their music, so of course after the movie was over (Simon & Kate FOREVER), I yanked Henry down the Bush rabbit hole with me, and then suddenly I was ranting with foaming lips about Gwen Stefani for the second time in one day. BUSH WAS SO MUCH BETTER THAN NO DOUBT AND HER SHITTY SOLO CRAP AND I FEEL LIKE MARRYING HER RUINED GAVIN ROSSDALE THERE I SAID IT GOD FORBID I’M SIDING WITH A MANS EVEN THOUGH WE HATE MANS IN THIS HOUSE.

(We do, me and the cats. We have a jingle that goes, “We hate mans, we hates mans, we hate mans in this house.” It’s really good, you’d have to hear it.)

I’d like to take a moment here to apologize to all of the McCoy’s patrons who had to suffer through me singing “Come Down” during karaoke every Saturday night in 2001/2002 except for my mortal enemy Christine–I hope that song haunts her in her sleep to this day lol.

Also, in that movie, they played a split second of White Town’s “Your Woman” and I was fucking drop-kicked back to 1997, driving along Rt 51 with Lisa in her Jeep, flashing a Polaroid of Psycho Mike’s weener out the window at every car next to us at red lights while this song played in the background, much to Lisa’s horror. Vintage Dicks Pics, yo.

Anyway, I would like to end this on a posi-note by sharing a live version of my favorite Bush song. i only just discovered this video the other day because now my YouTube feed is full of recommended Bush videos, in addition to the Korean and roller coaster mainstays. When I first moved into this house, I used to listen to the Cafe Del Mar remix of this song over and over and cry like a basic bitch.  When he says “we’ll wrap the world around it” I lose it every time and I couldn’t really tell you why but don’t worry,  you don’t have to deal with my sensitive music triggers.

Henry does.

LOL.

Shit this song is so good. Blake Shelton is a HUUUUUUUGE downgrade, overall.

Jul 142021
 

I realized the other day that we have been to 7 parks since getting vaccinated, and not a single one is our home park (Kennywood). One day this summer!

I will try to keep this short n’ sweet because OH WOW another amusement park post, cool story, etc.

But we had fun and memories were had, you know?

The morning started off icky though because similar to Cedar Point, King’s Island also does early entry access for passholders. That fucking gold pass really ruins everything for us Kingly platinum pass holders though lol. Anyway, it was cool when we went the day before because it was so late in the day and there was no line of traffic into the parking lot, so we cruised right through the handy-dandy self-scan line for pass holders.

However, it was a different story on Monday morning. First of all, the park gate’s were supposed to open at 10:30 but the parking lot was STILL CLOSED AT 10:20ish! It was absurd! So there was a huge line of cars waiting to get in, and once the lanes opened, tons of non-pass holders were getting in the wrong lane, so then they’d realize that they were screwed when they got to the front and would have to try and cut over into another line. Then people were trying to scan the pass from their phone and it wasn’t working so a parking attendant would have to leave the lane that actually required the service of a real person to come to our “SELF-SERVE” line and it was fucking mayhem. Our line was literally the slowest out of all of them. THEN! The car two in front of us kept scanning their pass over and over again WHILE THE FUCKING GATE WAS UP! Henry actually fucking BELLOWED out the window, “THE GATE IS OPEN, GO!!!” and there was a SUPER COOL GUY in the passenger seat of the car next to us who also yelled, “PAY ATTENTION!” then he looked over at us and shook his head and we HAD A BONDING MOMENT and just now it occurred to me that he kind of looked like DUFF GOLDMAN.

We thought for sure we would see him a million times that day because that is usually how things happen with us, but alas, we never did. :(

On our walk to the front gate, the stupid NATIONAL ANTHEM started to play and 99.9 % of the people stopped walking and did the respectful thing by standing in place and removing their hats if necessary and I stopped walking too but let it be known that I was NOT happy about it!

The process of entering the park went very smoothly and Henry hilariously assumed the role as FAMILY LEADER and power walked, nay—STALKED, toward Orion for early access.

30 minutes isn’t much time to work with but we were able to get quick rides sans the general public on Orion and Mystic Timbers before the riff raff started trickling in.

We were only at the park for about 4 hours since we had accomplished everything we wanted the night before and we wanted to get a good headstart on our drive home, but I will list some of the highlights here!

  • When we were in line for Diamondback (which might be my #2 ride there?! I ended up loving it so much more this visit!), I saw a guy that makes appearances in several of the coaster vloggers I follow and it wasn’t too surprising to see him because I THINK he’s a ride operator there, but on this day he was just a park visitor. I hoarsely whispered, “LOOK IT’S PAUL! FROM COASTER STUDIOS AND COASTER IDIOTS…!” but of course Henry can NOT hear whispers, probably from all that time he spent “working” on “planes” in “THE SERVICE.” Finally, he understood what I was saying and smirked. “He looks like an asshole,” he said. Later on, I told Chooch about it too (he missed out on this convo in real time because we split up in the station and he was waiting in line for the front row) and when I showed him who Paul is in one of the Coaster Studios videos, Chooch said, “Oh. He looks like an asshole.” Yeah, he kind of did.

  • BLUE ICE CREAM WAS HAD! It was only 11:30am but who the fuck cares. We were running on amusement park time and to be quite frank, anytime is ice cream time. Here are some pictures of the BLUE ICE CREAM:

  • After this, we got our traditional carouselfie. The BACK STORY is that while we were standing in line, Chooch started complaining because his phone that he broke last September was getting progressively worse and now he was barely able to read texts. He was all “wah wah you said you would get it fixed” and Henry totally snapped and was all, “you listen here, you little ingrate, I still have $200 left to pay on  the fucking iPhone and now you expect me to pay an additional $200 to get that thing fixed?!” And I was like “YEAH WHAT HE SAID” and then it was our turn  to mount the horses and I was the only one who was able to mimic the HAPPY FAMILY vibe, clearly.

  • The park was really getting somewhat crowded noon. Not unbearably so, but the wait times for some of the coasters were around 45-60 minutes, so Chooch and I rode a flat ride and then convinced Henry to ride the rapids ride, which required us to walk what felt like a mile of empty queue to get to where the line actually ended. We ended up sharing a thingie with a couple in their…early 30s? We didn’t vibe much with them so I felt like, as a family unit on a rapids ride, we were really dialing it back. It was one of the rougher ones I’ve ever ridden and I was exciting because there was a plaque thing on our raft that said it was manufactured by INTAMIN (and it even had the patent # so I felt like I was at work, reviewing a patent matter, my job is boring sometimes, it’s fine). It’s funny how now we care more about ride manufacturers than back in the day (well, that’s not true- I was very much into dark ride manufacturers). ANYWAY the reason I’m telling you this is because later on that day, Henry was like, “Oh shit” and showed me a news article about a kid who had JUST DIED on a rapids ride earlier that weekend at another park in the US. God, you never want to think about the freak accidents that could and do happen at parks. But I was reading an article about it later and it said that this particular ride did not come equipped with the QUICK DRAIN EMERGENCY SYSTEM that the INTAMIN MODELS have. Intamin!!

  • I really forgot how wonderful Mystic Timbers is. I would recommend it to people who think that all wooden coasters are rough pieces of shit, because this one will pleasantly surprise them.
  • When Chooch and I were in line for the Bat, I was so angry with him because he stood there the whole time, fucking around on his phone (I thought he couldn’t see anything??) leaving me to stand there in silence, sadly watching all the friends and families having special fun time together, laughing it up, talking about food plans, etc. It’s so awkward when he does this shit to me! And then when I try to say something to him, he gives me THAT LOOK – parents of teenagers past & present, you know that fucking look – like, “You deign to speak to me in public?” I hate it! Especially when it was our turn to enter the station and I said, “Where do you want to sit? Where do you want to sit? WHERE. DO. YOU. WANT. TO. SIT.” because he was totally spaced out on his phone, but when he heard me the third time, he snapped, “I SAID I DON’T CARE.” OH MY GOD NO HE DID NOT. The whole point of this is that we were seated behind a mom and her young son – Jake – who totally lost his shit before they even sent the train out of the station. I mean, it was panic city in front of me. There is this one part of the lift hill where the suspension above makes a loud POP sound and when that happened, he fucking SCREAMED and then I started feeding off his fear and Chooch was like, “Oh my fucking god” and then I kept thinking in my head, “WHAT IF JAKE KNEW” as I envisioned the suspension breaking and our train careening into the Mason, Ohio forest. It ended up being fine and it turned out that Jake really enjoyed the ride once it hit the brake run. I started laughing when we got off the ride because he was older than I thought (maybe 9?) and his much-younger who was sitting in front of him gave him this, “You’re a fucking embarrassment” look when he got out of his seat. I guess YOU HAD TO BE THERE.

  • Before we left, I bought some really cool holographic post cards (MAYBE YOU RECEIVED ONE FROM IN THE REAL LIFE MAIL, OMG) and Chooch settled on a Diamondback tshirt while Henry hemmed and hawed over hats and then ended up not buying anything because why buy a cool hat when you can get free Faygo ones from work, I guess. :/

And that was pretty much all that happened on our second day at King’s Island! The Beast hadn’t opened yet by the time we left around 2 so I’m really glad that we rode it the day before. I would have liked to have ridden Racer 76 because some of it has been retracked but the line seemed long and apparently, the retrack didn’t make it that much better, so OH WELL. We also had a fun ride on the Shake, Rattle, and Roll because the ride operator was super energetic and all about that rider-participation. I love riding shit when the operator is telling us what to shout! I wish all ride operators had that kind of fun personality. King’s Island in general is actually pretty good on that front. But I still think that Dollywood and Holiday World have every other non-Disney park in the US beat in that area!

I’m desperate to find friends to go to parks with us though since Chooch HATES HAVING CONVERSATIONS IN LINE. Someone buy a Cedar Fair Platinum Pass next year and meet up with us. I promise I won’t get you in trouble for running (lol, j/k, you will definitely get in trouble).

Jul 122021
 

I had to pick up some treasures from an Instagram pal on Sunday and exclaimed, “Oh would you look at that, she lives near Page Dairy Mart. WE SHOULD SWING BY AND GET ICE CREAM.” I mean, like we ever need a reason for ice cream, though.

Chooch is too good to hang out with us now and chose one of his dumb friends over us, so it was kind of like HENRY AND I WERE ON A DATE

A SUNDAY AFTERNOON DATE.

A SUNDAY AFTERNOON ICE CREAM DATE.

There was a group of super cool friends behind us (one of them had on a Vegan Treats shirt and I wanted to hiss “WE WERE THERE” to Henry but he can barely hear me when I speak in my regular outdoor voice so whispering is not a thing we can do anymore unless I want to provoke him to yell, “WHAT’S THAT??”) and I was trying to eavesdrop I swear but one of them was practically gagging on his own tongue while vehemently describing how much he hates bananas.

“Do you just hate banana-flavored things though?” one of the girls in the group asked.

“Oh, I hate banana-flavored things AND actual bananas,” he spat with disgust, like a possessed person strapped to a bed and talking to a priest about the body of Christ.

Where am I going with this…

Oh! So the girl proceeded to tell them that the reason banana-favored things–like banana Runts–taste so different from actual bananas is because way back when the artificial banana flavor was created, it was modeled after A DIFFERENT KIND OF BANANA THAT WAS AVAILABLE BACK IN THE DAY, WHAT.

I had no idea!

Of course, Henry knew this though. He probably read a Reddit thread about it in the bathroom at work.

This also made me think about the time I volunteered to participate in a gas-mask testing experiment at the Bureau of Mines where I had to wear a gas mask and then tell them if I could smell the banana gas that was being pumped around me, but MY DUMB GIRL HEAD WAS TOO SMALL for the gas mask so they paid me for the one day but I wasn’t eligible to continue with more testing ugh now I’m really upset all over again at this memory. I love gas masks!

Henry got a Wafflonia sundae – literally a waffle sundae made with Wafflonia waffles which are the best in the city and now I’m lamenting the fact that I have not been back to that joint since Andrea visited me in 2011 and we went there and then to the Music Box Museum and she was like, “WHOA WHOA WHOA I AGREED TO WAFFLES NOT A MUSIC BOX MUSEUM” and then proceeded to have a miserable day.

Henry got bananas on his sundae and I snapped, “you should have gone with the maple option” so he sighed and called out to the ice cream girl, “can I get maple on that too?” And it really elevated the sundae to the next level, you’re welcome, Peasant Palate.

Oh, and me? I got the fresh blueberry soft serve, which is only available for a limited time because IT’S SEASONAL, but it’s so amazing and even though they have so many other delicious options, when this flavor is on the menu it’s hard for me to pass it up.

I just realized that I didn’t hate anyone in line with us. I must have been in a good mood.

It definitely wasn’t because Henry and I were semi-matching. I actually hated that. But he had his shirt on first, so…ugh. Also, I want to punch myself in my smug face sometimes. Gah. Just look at me. I’m an asshole.

(Also, I got that shirt for $5 in one of the Seoul subway stations!!! I miss shopping in subway stations!!!!)

Anyway, what a nice afternoon. I think we managed to not even fight once. If you’re ever in Pgh, ya gotta go to Page’s. Ya just gotta. YA JUST GOTTA. You might be tempted by Millie’s since they’re taking over like UPMC, but if you want a real Pgh experience, you gotta stand under a train bridge on the South Side, eating a sundae made with the famous & local Nancy B chocolate cookies, ok? This is one of the only places that are worth standing in line for, in my opinion, and on OH HONESTLY ERIN DOT COM my opinion is the only one that matters.

(I regret not taking more bites of Henry’s sundae though.)

Jul 112021
 

Going to a theme park on the fourth of July seems like the dumbest idea that ever hatched from my brain-egg (so many people who know me in real life would read that line and agree that I’ve had way dumber ideas though) but listen, Linda. Listen. I had a strategy. Much like with our Cedar Point weekend, I felt that splitting one day into two half-days would be the way to go because that way we could leave the park earlier on Monday so we wouldn’t be making the four and a half hour drive home super late on Monday night, while still getting in some night rides on Sunday. If we didn’t have those Cedar Fair passes, we definitely couldn’t do something like this because that would be pay park admission for two days PLUS PARKING for two days! Have you been to a fucking amusement park in the 21st century? Parking is outrageous – usually about $20!! In some cases, that’s not much less than the actual park admission!

We rolled up around 6:30/7:00 and the parking lot was packed so we were like “aw shit son, did we make a huge mistake?” but also we weren’t too worried because even if it was very crowded, maybe we could get on some flat rides and just, I dunno, enjoy the scenery. But you guys, guess what?? Apparently everyone was waiting in line for Invertigo and Flight of Fear because the wait times for nearly every other coaster was 45 minutes or less! Orion was listed as 30 minutes so we went straight to the back of the park to take that new-new for a spin.

Daebak…..Orion is technically a giga coaster because even though the lift hill is just shy of the 300 foot mark, the drop itself is 300 feet so most sane people are counting it as a giga. Of course there are the naysayers out there but I say: is it a fun coaster? yes? then who cares?!!?

This is the problem with labels!

The line would have probably actually been about 30 minutes as stated if King’s Island didn’t have such a high line-jumping problem. OMFG it was insane the amount of people cutting in line. Some of them would go through the unmanned Fast Lane entrance knowing that they wouldn’t be checked until they got to the station, and then slyly slid into the general line before the Fast Lane line started up the steps. Other people just blatantly cruised under the empty switchbacks and then pushed through everyone to get their ONE PERSON PLACEHOLDER. Literally, this one guy who was a few heads in front of us started jumping and waving and I was like OH GREAT but then only one person joined him so then I was TOO PISSED because Orion seats four people across and they don’t generally use single riders to fill empty spaces as far as I’ve seen at King’s Island so I figured that dude would have just been sitting alone anyway and now he has someone else to sit with him so this won’t affect us…

AND THEN 5 MORE PEOPLE JOINED HIM. And they had no shame at all. Just shouldered their way right the fuck in and a bunch of us just watched this play out, totally appalled, and of course not DARING to say anything to these YOUNG ENTITLED PEOPLE because you can’t fucking say shit to this shitty generation without worrying about getting kicked in the head. This line was set up in a way that made it entirely too easy for this shit to happen and there wasn’t a single KI employee around to watch for this shit. I don’t care how much “line jumping” signage they have – these kids know that there will be no repercussions so they just do what they want because ENTITLEMENT.

Aside from that, the ride was great. Maybe a little underwhelming? It’s only the third giga I’ve ridden (wow I really tried to spell that with a “wr”) and I would say that it’s less forceful than Intimidator 305 in King’s Dominion, but the second half is more interesting than the second half of Millennium Force in Cedar Force. Overall, I though it was solid! You just can’t beat the views on Millie, and I ALWAYS gray out on I305, but did not gray out on Orion, sadly. I need to ride it more times though because I didn’t gray out on Millie the first couple times I rode her either!

Surprisingly, for a Fourth of July evening, this park was NOT all that crowded. I couldn’t believe our good fortune.

We made it on the Beast (aka Daddy) in about 15 minutes. Chooch and I were in the back seat and I fucking swear to god at one point I thought we were popping off the track. How do you explain the Beast to anyone who hasn’t ridden it? It is A PSYCHO MACHNE. Totally brutal yet somehow not as painful as some other ratchety woodies. I’m obsessed with it.

Henry for some reason didn’t ride Mystic Timbers with us in 2019 but this time he did and now understands the hype. If you don’t like wooden coasters because of the roughness, you gotta get your ass on a newer GCI because they are so smooth while still fucking FLYING over that track.

Next, Chooch and I knocked out the two kiddie coasters that he missed in 2019 because of rain. This yellow thing was surprisingly fun even though it was ONE TRAIN OPS.

I was obsessed with the two little boys in line in front of us because they were so adorable and I think Chooch was jealous, well then maybe he should pay attention to me!!!!!!!! Anyway it was funny because they kept calling their mom over to the fence to tell her things, and we kept calling Henry over too, like two needy children.

Tightwad Hank was so angry that I wanted to purchase this picture, because UGH MONEY, NO SPEND! but I just think it’s funny because I look petrified on a kiddie coaster and Chooch is trying to calm me down, when really I was squinting because the camera flash hurt my eyes. No, really! I’m serious! OMG I WASN’T SCARED, OK!?

Then we kind of just wandered around for a bit, got some snacks and waited for the fireworks show to start. Our strategy was to hang out near the entrance of the Beast, which was going to close down during the fireworks and then reopen after. We thought that would be a good time to get a night ride, but I kept saying, “I don’t think ALL of the rides are shutting down during this, maybe we should get in line for Diamondback,” but Mr. I Am King’s Island Mgmt was adamant that ALL RIDES were stopping during the fireworks and that we would get “stuck in line” if we attempted to ride Diamondback at that time.

Well, that motherfucker was INCORRECT because almost every ride was still operating except those in the area where the fireworks were being set off (Orion, Racer, Beast) so we could have been getting flung around over those sweet-ass Diamondback hills instead of sitting on a wall waiting out the fireworks THANKS HENRY. And after all that, Beast never reopened for the night! A bunch of us were viciously yelled at by an older park employee to vacate the area (ok, maybe VICIOUSLY is the wrong word but he was definitely an asshole).

Chooch and I took that opportunity to jump on Diamondback finally and the line was so short, only about 15 minutes! We sat in the last car and it was the best ride I’ve had on it, super memorable, whereas the last time we there I only thought it was “OK.” Always re-ride coasters, because you never know when something is going to go from mediocre in your eyes to fucking DOPE AF.

Chooch whined about playing games as usual. This pisses me off so much. I keep waiting for him to outgrow this obnoxious penchant to waste his parents’ hard-earned cash on RIGGED CARNIVAL GAMES but it has yet to happen and now I’m starting to panic a little but eventually this will be someone else’s problem so I just have to wait it out I guess. Good luck to his future dates/partners/spouses.

I had to drag his ass on Adventure Express because he’s too “cool” to ride “lame” mine train rides now apparently. But even he couldn’t deny that this was FUCKING AMAZING AS A NIGHT RIDE. I even declared at one point that it was my favorite ride in the park when he gave me a disgusted look, I walked back on my opinion and edited it to “second favorite.”

After this, Banshee was a FIVE MINUTE WAIT. Literally almost a station wait, I couldn’t believe it because this is one of their premier coasters, and I’m pretty sure Chooch waited in line for about 90 minutes when we were there in 2019 and that annoyance definitely swayed my opinion at the time. But this time? On a beautiful summer night? It felt like a masterpiece. It was Henry’s first time riding it and his review was, “It was good.”

So there you have it!

After that, we were the sole riders on the Bat. Chooch and I took the last row while Henry claimed the front. It was….as scary as I remembered. From the concerning popping noises as you’re ascending up the lift hill to the precarious feeling of being suspended above pitch black landscape, I was screaming the whole time. Chooch declared this to be his favorite ride in the whole park because apparently Chooch is able to claim underdogs as his #1 but I’m not. OK, cook on.

That stupid boomerang, Invertigo, was a goddamn walk-on at this point of the night (it was around 11:35 and I was panicking because I wanted ride on Adventure Express before the park closed at midnight!!) but Chooch had to get this dumb credit so on the dumb thing we went. Ugh, it was awful, just awful. I hate boomerangs with my whole damn heart.

We got off that motherfucking whiplash factory around 11:45 and started to run toward Adventure Express, where a passing King’s Island kindly murmured, “Please don’t run, guys.” Chooch and I stopped to a fast walk and I could feel Henry, yards behind us, shaking his head disapprovingly. We somehow managed to get Henry to ride it this time, though he was NOT as happy about it as we were. The only downfall this time around was that there was this SUPER drunk white trash dad in a wife beater leading his ragamuffin family through the queue and I was so pissed because they took up all of the back rows and I was like “JUST SIT IN THE FRONT, I WANT TO BE AS FAR AWAY FROM THIS ASSHOLE AS POSSIBLE” because he was scream-shouting to his family the whole time and no way did I want his beer breath pelting me on the back of the head.

Anyway, this ride was somehow even more fun though because Henry looked so pained and this was making me scream, “I’M GOING TO PEE MY PANTS!!!” over and over and he just kept grimacing at me which, I know what you’re thinking, “isn’t that normal?” and yes. Yes it is.

After we got off, we realized we had time to get one more ride on it before the park closed. STUPIDLY, we followed white trash family who cut through from the exit ramp to the fast lane entrance (I think that’s what was happening?) in order to bypass walking all the way down the exit ramp and getting back into the regular line. I didn’t know what was happening at the time so we followed them like lemmings and then the ride operator yelled over the speaker “PLEASE DO NOT CUT THROUGH THE LINE, GO BACK TO BEGINNING OF THE ENTRANCE” and I was like “I SURRENDER!” like, I would be the worst criminal because the moment a cop started yelling through the bullhorn, I’d be all, “YOU CAUGHT ME! BOOK ME, DANNO!” Chooch and I turned around as we were told to do because even though we get excited and might lose our rule-abiding minds for a seconds, we are genuinely not assholes when it comes to respecting park employees. They have a tough job, dealing with assholes all day! HOWEVER, the white trash family just PRETENDED to turn around, but then they went right back to what they were doing, beat us to the ride station again and hogged the whole back car AGAIN. What fucking assholes!! The WORST PART is that when Chooch and I got to the station, the ride attendant at the end of the queue looked Chooch dead in the eyes and said in a low, stern voice, “Do not run.”

Chooch was so flustered! “I wasn’t running,” he hissed at me as we were buckling our seatbelts. “I did like, a light jog around one corner back there to catch up with you, but I WASN’T RUNNING.” I was mad too because why they gotta target us when White Trash Family were the REAL offenders??

Meanwhile, a bunch of other people had done the same thing that White Trash Family did by cutting through the Fast Lane line so the ride operator once again got on his speaker thing to admonish them BUT THEY DIDN’T LISTEN so he had to sic the Mean Guy Who Yelled At Chooch on them and they weren’t allowed to ride – PUT THIS TEAM ON ORION, PLEASE. They were INTENSE with their rule upholding.

But, I felt like an asshole since first I was associated with White Trash Family’s line jumping, and now I was associated with Chooch’s running-not-walking. So, this ride was a bit uncomfy.

Also, Henry didn’t come back on with us because when were walking down the exit ramp after the last ride, he spotted a skunk in the grass next to the ride station and was STILL STANDING THERE narrating his internal nature show in his head when we got off the final ride of the night.

And that’ll do it for Day One at King’s Island! I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderful it turned out. I didn’t think we would stay all the way until midnight but we did and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Especially considering that a lot of parks seem to be closing around 7 or 8 this season, I guess because of staffing reasons??

I personally DO NOT care about the fourth of July AT ALL but it was really nice to be at a beautiful park during it because their lightning was magnificent.

We went back to the hotel and fucking crashed HARD.

Jul 092021
 

Earlier tonight, henry was at “the store” and I was working (ugh Friday Late Shifts are the bane of my existence but I think this may have been last one???). Chooch was moping around being super high maintenance, whining about needing iced tea and, I dunno, dinner probably. I wasn’t listening.

Then he went outside & began half-assedly fiddling around with his semi-broken bike. Don’t ask me what’s wrong with it. It’s rideable but it comes with a loud clang and grind, like a steampunk symphony announcing your arrival.

“Rob and Larry are out here,” he said when he came back in the house for a second. “Maybe they’ll fix my bike since he won’t.”

He went back outside and turned on the Sad Boy heavy sighs and long face routine until one of our neighbors, George, took the bait and came over to check out the Broke Down Bike.

I ran up to my bedroom to snap a picture to send to “At The Store” Henry in order to emasculate & deadbeat-dad him.

THEN! The neighborhood Corgi Dad also stopped by and offered to take a look-see! I was dying. Then I was like WHY DOES THIS SEEM FAMILIAR oh yeah – because his Woe Is Me theatrics was honed by being the understudy to YOURS TRULY.

Too bad Hot Naybor Chris wasn’t home, because he FOR SURE would have been game to get greasy.

Finally henry came home and was all OH FOR CHRIST’S SAKE and got his tools. Evidently, CHOOCH wrecked his bike & is lying about it which makes Henry even less inspired to put on his Dad Cap and help out ol’ sonny boy.

“I’m going to get him a fucking tricycle,” Henry mumbled later on. This bike is really pissing him off and I’m loving it.

Jul 082021
 

OK that title is pushing it because not all of the books I read in June were winners, let me tell you that right now. Well, here is the first half of the stack!

  1. The Divines – Ellie Eaton

The Divines

I guess this is dark academia? Maybe? Except that I actually liked it? Also, I’m not actually sure I know what the dark academia genre actually entails, but it’s about a girl in some private girls’ school in England. I mean, isn’t that how most of these synopses start out, lol. We bounce back and forth between the girl’s experience at school, to present day where she’s an adult and trying to come to terms with AN INCIDENT that we don’t really get the full picture of until toward the end of the book. Honestly, I thought that the writing was great and engaging, and I really liked this – the ending made me go “wow” and laugh.

I don’t know. This was good!

2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

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STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING. NOW GO AND READ THIS BOOK. (Actually, finish reading this blog post first, I’m desperate for readers lololol.) Just like with Daisy Jones & the Six by the same author, I kept putting this off because I was sick and tired of Booktube qtipping their dick holes over it but then audio book became available on Scribd, and well….I fucking fell hard for this damn book. Similar to Daisy Jones, a fictional actress in her 70s is giving an exclusive tell-all to a writer, in which she reveals the history and stories behind all 7 of her husbands. You guys, how is Evelyn Hugo not real?? Taylor Jenkins Reid writes her characters SO FUCKING WELL that you will honestly forget you’re reading a fictional account of a fake actress’s life.

There isn’t a single boring part of this book and I lost my mind by the time it ended. And by that I mean it came oozing out of my eyeholes in the form of TEARS. Solid 5 star book, please someone make this into a TV show or movie (TV show would honestly be so good).

3. True Story – Kate Reed Petty

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Man, I already forgot most of this lololol. I remember thinking that it was very ambitious and ALMOST well-done, but also very repetitive and too long. There was an entire chapter about a guy in a cabin that literally made me want to scratch through my skin because it was so dull. Also, every man in this book can get fucked by a barbed wire ice pick, for real.

4. Finlay Donovan is Killing It – Elle Cosimano

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It (Finlay Donovan, #1)

YOU GUYS if you’re one of those “beach reads” people, I would recommend this one. It was so entertaining, the dialogue was snappy, the plot was cute but dark, and the characters were so delightful, even when they weren’t supposed to be. Basically, Finlay is a crime novelist who gets mistaken for a hit lady and every other chapter had me shouting, “No no no that’s a terrible idea!” but then cracking up because oh, Finlay, how will you get out of *this* mess?

I’m so glad that this is going to be a series!!

5. Crying in H-Mart – Michelle Zauner

Crying in H Mart

Crying in H-Mart is lodged in my heart like a bullet of sadness. I knew that this had a lot of hype surrounding it but I would have picked it up anyway because it has H-Mart in the title and hello, that’s my favorite grocery store in the world.

I don’t even know how to talk about this book without crying like a bitch, but in it, Michelle Zauner writes about her relationship with her Korean mother, specifically what it was like to watch her succumb to cancer and scramble for ways to maintain the Korean side of her identity. If you’re into Korean culture (specifically Korean food), you are going to latch on hard to this book, the reading of which will be soundtracked by the sinister rumble of your stomach as Michelle describes food in PRISTINE DETAIL. But even if you know nothing about Korean things, this is still an amazing book that speaks honestly and from the sad bullet-lodged heart about strained and complicated relations between a mother and her daughter. I just thought it was so raw and beautiful and also, Michelle Zauner is the front woman of Japanese Breakfast, so if none of the other endorsements I gave you made you want to pick this up, maybe that will because Japanese Breakfast is A++++++++++.

6. The Girls – Emma Cline 

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This is essentially a retelling of the Manson murders. I would recommend just reading Helter Skelter or something. I mean, this book was fine, but also kind of boring.

It did make me want to read more  coming-of-age books set in the 60s specifically during the FREE LOVE era but make it interesting, you know? I do think the book cover is striking. I give that a higher rating than the actual book, which again was FINE but just…not as graphic and bloody as I wanted it to be, I guess

7. What’s Mine is Yours – Naima Coster

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Oh ho ho ho fuck this book so hard. I have debated whether or not to even spend a single second giving any type of review of this because I hated it so much. Like, I gave it a 1-star on Goodreads only because Goodreads doesn’t let you give you zero.

I only picked this up because TIME told me in the was one of the books so far in 2021. Well, fuck you TIME, you have SHITTY taste.

First, let’s talk about the characters. They could have all died in quicksand for all I cared. Not a single redeeming quality to ANY OF THEM. Every single person – UNLIKEABLE. And I get that sometimes we’re actually not supposed to like a character; OK cool but at least make that person INTERESTING. None of these people were!! They were like FUCKING SIMS. Two entire families we followed and not a single person to root for except for the FAMILY DOG and don’t even get me started on that!!

Now, how about the SLOPPY TIMELINE JUMPING. Wow. Some writers can really pull this off with aplomb (looking at you, Evie Wyld, my love). But this book had the most confusing timeline switches and it really didn’t even make that much sense to me. I had a really hard time following along (and I was eye-ball reading this, not doing the audiobook, so I can’t even blame it on the narration or zoning out), and if the whole reason behind this was just to be able to have a “reveal” or “twist,” well it wasn’t necessary because I thought it was pretty obvious very early on what was going on. But again – didn’t care.

And the matriarch of one of the two families was so shitty and trashy that I absolutely loathed every chapter that featured her. LACEY MAY  – what a fucking name. This is not a spoiler at all but the writing was so shitty that there were numerous mentions of LACEY MAY kicking the family dog in the ribs, but then in one of the later timelines, there’s a mention of her spending a lot of time at her daughter’s dog kennel because being around dogs made her think of their old family dog.

….oh you mean THE ONE THAT SHE KICKED???

It made no sense to me. I fucking hated this book so bad. Could not even picture a single character in my mind, that’s how one-dimensionally written they all were.

Oh and the book cover is ugly too.

Sorry if this is your fave, but I vacillated between being glad I read a library copy, and actually kind of wishing I owned the copy I read so that I could have ripped it apart and burnt it when I finished.

WOW I’M GLAD I’M ENDING THIS BLOG POST ON THIS NOTE BECAUSE NOW I AM ANGRY ALL OVER AGAIN AND REQUIRE A COOL-OFF WALK AT…9:57PM GREAT.

Jul 072021
 

The day before we left for our little 4th of July weekend road trip to the Cincinnati-ish area of Ohio, Henry happened to see in whatever newsfeed he gets on his dumb phone that Stricker’s Grove, a small family-operated amusement park outside of Cinci, was going to open to the public on July 4th – THE DAY WE WOULD BE IN THE AREA. Why does this news require CAPSLOCK, you ask? Because this place is only open 4 times a year (the rest of the time they rent out to corporations for company picnics, etc) so the two wooden coasters inside this small, roadside park next to a fucking cornfield are considered RARE CREDITS.

I did quick math in my head and realized that if we stopped here before hitting up King’s Island, one of those two coasters could be Chooch’s 150th, which would be way cooler than anything at King’s Island, which is easily accessible!

One hiccup though was that we had plans to meet up with Christina and their fiancée Katie before going to King’s Island in the evening. Luckily, they were both on board with the change in plans and we arranged to meet at Stricker’s Grove at noon, when they ALLEGEDLY OPENED.

As previously whined about in my liveblog from Sunday, we quickly learned that while the park was open at noon, the rides were not scheduled to operate until 3pm! Which would have been helpful had they put this info on their website and not just their Facebook page, because hello, not everyone is on Facebook! (Also LOL @ the fact that someone just realized two weeks ago that I’m not on Facebook anymore when it’s been FOUR YEARS (June 2017, baybay) so wow, that was truly a solid friendship.)

Also LOL @ the fact that Christina have literally not seen each other in person (and barely even spoken) since 2012 (2011, even?!) and the very first thing I said to them in lieu of “hello” was “CHRISTINA I DON’T THINK THIS PLACE IS OPEN?! GO ASK!!”

If you are a real one, you know that we ended up leaving and getting lunch at Hyde’s, and then returning at 2:30. And good thing we didn’t wait any longer because while the line to get ride tickets was short at that time (see above!), within an hour the line was practically snaking out into the parking lot which means nothing to you since you have no frame of reference as to the PARK LAYOUT.

Daddy Warbucks purchased enough tickets for Chooch and me to ride both coasters and the carousel. But then we still had to wait for the gate to the ride area to open! I was so pee-jiggy! I sat with Christina and Katie under a pavilion while Chooch played skeeball only to have his tickets thieved by some rural child / future farmhand.

Then I noticed that people were gathering by the gate so we all walked (well, mine was more of a “I WANT TO RUN SO BAD RIGHT NOW BUT I WILL POWER WALK LIKE I’M HEADING TO MY WALLSTREET OFFICE” psycho-gait) over to join the small horde. I was getting angry because people kept passing us but I was trying to be calm and normal for Katie so she shouldn’t be completely turned off by my abrasiveness. Also, she is recovering from a broken fibula (??? some leg bone??) and I was being compassionate and considerate to her slower-pace because yes Henry, I can be a nice person!

However, as soon as the gate opened, Chooch and I were like SEEYA WOULDN’T WANNA BE YA and blew past everyone. Henry was happy to have friends matching his pace this time around.

We decided to ride the smaller of the two woodies first so that #150 would be Tornado, Stricker’s main attraction. We were in line behind a young guy wearing in B&M t-shirt (that’s a coaster manufacturer for you all you non-nerds reading this) and Chooch wanted to ask him what his favorite B&M is but then didn’t because he was afraid he’d ask Chooch the same and Chooch couldn’t decide which one he’d choose.

See also: Chooch never initiates conversations with strangers.

We made it on the second train of the day and I was fully prepared for some back-crunching action, but HOLY SHIT – this little guy was smooth AF! I heard that it had been retracked in like, 2017 or 2018 I think and I’m not sure if they did even more recent work on it but that wood felt and looked fresh, like it just came straight from the roller coaster forest. I mean, the ride itself was a very tame kiddie coaster at best, but the fact that it was running like slippers on silk made it seem exceptional. We could NOT stop gushing about how surprisingly good it was! And they sent us through twice!!

Then we ran over to the Tornado while our FAN CLUB continued to stand in their little huddle, probably talking about Faygo flavors and not acting as the paparazzo that Chooch and I truly deserve. Anyway, here’s a picture in line with a cornfield behind him.  We only had to wait for train and then we made it on the next one! This place ruled! We literally knocked the two coasters out within 10 minutes. THE HUSTLE.

Again – what a fucking smooth-ass ride! Stricker’s props to you for taking premium care of your rides. Again with the fresh track feel, and not only that, but the coaster LOOKS good too. I don’t know what I was expecting – something akin to Blue Streak at Conneaut I guess?! That bitch is a real back-breaker.

Weirdly, Tornado didn’t seem to have any signage, at least not that I could see?! Maybe it was on  the road side? So I had to just deposit Chooch in some random spot in front of it for his commemorative 150th coaster photo op.

This coaster was really quirky and fun. I’m so happy we got this lucky chance!

And here’s the Teddy Bear cutie. <3

After this, it was CAROUSELFIE TIME! Woo! (Remember when people used to say “woot” all the time? I really disliked that. IT RUBBED ME THE WRONG WAY, one might say.) Stupid Henry needed to lean the other way but he’s rude, so this is an accurate portrayal.

I got my foot caught in that pole when the horse was lowering – it was actually scary. Also, Katie said my hair is very thicc and that made me happy. We are keeping Katie.

Not winning.

(Also, Chooch and Katie bonded over Pokemon here. Christina tried really hard to insert themselves into the discussion but Chooch was not impressed. Because he’s my kid.)

So then Christina was like, “OK I will win his love through materialism, just like I did with his mother” except that they failed here too.

We dragged Katie and Christina on Teddy Bear after this because they had enough tickets and I swore on Taemin’s military beret that it was NOT rough and wouldn’t hurt her leg.

Henry’s One Job was to take a picture of us all on this, but aside from a picture of his finger, and a close-up of the people in the front row, this was the only picture he managed to eke out.

Christina and Katie both agreed that it was a smooth operation and even gave Chooch and me the rest of their tickets so we were able to ride the flying dumbo ride even  though we actually wanted to ride some spinny thing but we needed two more tickets and Henry, his mouth twisting around a piece of hay, was all I AIN’T WAITIN’ IN THAT LINE FOR NO MORE TICKETS, RIDE THE DUMBO OR LEAVE.

I texted Henry and told him to take a picture of us, but as usual he ignored me because he was probably trying to act like a big shot in front of a new person (“I DRIVE AROUND ON A PALLET JACK, KATIE. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT IS? IT IS A PIECE OF FINE MACHINERY THAT ASSISTS ME IN LIFTING CASES OF JUGGALO JUICE, NOT THAT I NEED ASSISTANCE.“) so then I texted Christina and said, “Henry is ignoring me, take our picture” and .003 seconds later, they turned around snapped this:

Like, wow. The effort is…palpable here.

Anyway, hours later, they were like, “Oh shit, sorry I’m just seeing this text now” so they actually just happened to take that picture of us randomly, at the same time I asked. SO WEIRD.

That cornfield tho.

Chooch really didn’t want to sit together but I made him.

Stricker’s was really popping off by this point! Henry DEFINITELY wasn’t buying any more tickets now.

Stricker’s Crew.

Then we got us some patriotic ice cream. Mmm’erica.

Here’s Chooch with his skeeball ticket trade-ins.

He might’ve had enough for a full hand of digits had he not let some mulleted toddler snatch his tickets!

Then we sat under the pavilion again and chatted and I was trying really hard to not be rude by checking the time constantly but my internal Type A child was screaming, “MUST GO TO KING’S ISLAND. THE BEAST IS CALLING.” So eventually we had to say goodbye which was sad but I know that we will be seeing everyone again because it was such a nice, easy reunion and Katie is a true gem, so I only felt A LITTLE bad saying goodbye.

Tornado from the road! There is literally no fence around it.

This was the best picture I could get of the sign because Henry wouldn’t pull over and made me take it from the car window. The actual worst.

Anyway, what a weird little hidden gem outside of Cincinnati! If you’re a coaster fan, ya gotta try to get out there and get those elusive creds, and then go to Hyde’s for some pie.

Jul 052021
 

On our way from King’s Island this afternoon, we stopped at Rt 73 Diner in Wilmington, Ohio. It was a semi-rural looking area BUT I looked ahead and saw that they had VEGGIE BURGERS on the menu and I wanted that.

Chooch made us sit at one of the high-top tables which I never prefer but it was better than the tiny table we were also offered in between two giant parties of people. But that is besides the point.

When our waitress came over, it was pretty obvious she was borderline flustered. Then when she asked us how we doing, she responded to our reciprocation of the question with a very sarcastic, “Oh I’m doing just great.”

Henry blurted out, “you look great.”

“Really?” she asked, looking up from her order pad.

And you guys…

He fucking said, “No.”

No!!!

Chooch and I were ready to slide under the table to shield ourselves from the eye-daggers she was launching at Henry.

I didn’t even know how to save him from that one aside from explaining to her what I thought maybe had happened, which was that his first response was supposed to be matching her sarcasm, meaning she looked the opposite of great so that when she asked him if he meant it, he said no. But I honestly didn’t want to walk into that fire, backdraft-style. So instead I just mumbled, “coffee and water” when she asked for my drink order.

Henry was perplexed when she left and chooch and I finally were free to voice our discomfort. He had no idea that what he said was insulting!

“You might as well have just told her to smile more,” Chooch cried.

So then Henry was pretty much ducking every time she came near us and I was trying to overcompensate by bubble-wrapping our table with pleases and thank yous.

Henry had the poor timing of snagging her when she was en route to another table, and asking, “can we get some napkins?” She gave him a really tight smile and actually spun on her heels to go back and get us napkins which she didn’t SLAM into our table but she also didn’t set them down GENTLY.

“Wow she really hates us,” Henry said sheepishly.

“Yeah, you literally made her hate us right away, after the first thing you said!” Chooch yelled.

“Just don’t ever talk again,” I pleaded.

Then as we were leaving, Chooch stood up right as she was about to pass from behind him and almost made her slam into him.

For what it’s worth, she really did look great regardless of the quality of day she was having. She reminded me a bit of our friend Dawn from Castle Blood and Dawn is pretty AF!

(Also during this lunch, Henry was trying to tell me shit about the recent semi-derailment of the coaster El Toro in NJ. “I already told you everything you just told me,” I said. Henry said that I didn’t “do a good job” giving him the facts BUT LUCKILY a fellow man explained it better so now Henry understands. Is it still mansplaining when it’s man-to-man? Or is it just plain explaining?)

Henry left the waitress a hearty tip and then we ran out of there. My veggie burger was super good, though the jury is out whether or not she spit in it. Hopefully just in Henry’s burger!

P.S. one of the waiters (maybe the owner?) opened a large freezer behind the counter and there at least 15 boxes of BOSCO STICKS all stacked up in there. Whyyyyyy. They’re fucking haunting me!

Jul 042021
 

GOOD MORNING it is 7:00am and for the first time, we’re actually leaving the house when we said we were going to! We’re en route to the Cincinnati area for some King’s Island action and possibly some other fun! I guess I will live blog but the drive through Ohio is historically boring so we’ll see how that pans out?! First I have to finish a book in reading though. You care.

Haha j/k I forgot my purse so we had to turn around.

8:31am: HOLA I finished my big (That Summer – Jennifer Weiner). I liked it. Also we went to Sheetz about an hour ago and Chooch pulled an Erin and pouted about his breakfast burrito BEING DISGUSTING but then didn’t really tell us why other than it wasn’t heated up.

SHEETZ SELIFE WHAT WHAT.

9:27am: I do not appreciate that this piece of shit parked next to us at Loves.

9:44am: big microburst argument between chooch and me, perpetuated by the innocent action of me handing him an empty bag of Quest chips to put in the designated garbage bag in the backseat and he apparently WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF CLEANING UP A MESS and ripped the bag from my hands and let it flutter to the floor so then I snapped and he clapped back and Henry was like stop please and the song “Reminiscing” was on the Yacht Rock station so I spat something about reminiscing to back when I didn’t have a kid yet and henry was like WOW and the yacht rock station guy said something about how two is better than one and Henry bitterly mumbled, “not always” while looking back & forth between Chooch and me. Wow.

10:44am: speaking of yacht rock I feel like if there was a yacht rock prom, Michael McDonald would be a shoo-in prom king.

12:40pm: sorry, I forgot about you, Blog! We made it to Strickers Grove around noon where we met my old friend Christina and their fiancée Katie but the rides don’t start until 3???? The whole reason we woke up early was to go here before Kings Island because it’s only open 4x a year and there are two rare coaster credits we need but now we are going to eat first and go back ugh I hate when plans change!!

1:55pm: We had the most awesome waitress at Hyde’s and equally as awesome fries even though they’re crinkle cut and Henry bought me a t-shirt so I can rep Hyde’s even while in Pittsburgh BUT they didn’t have the one I wanted and I misunderstood what the cashier said so now I have a Hyde’s shirt that says Pie or Die on the back which I guess is cool and now I have something to wear to the pie party should I choose to have one this year.

The cashier had already gone back to the get the shirt in my size so I said “now I can’t change my mind, I’m basically married to this one” and Henry said, “I didn’t pay it for yet so you’re not married to anything.”

And I said YEAH I KNOW, IM NOT MARRIED TO ANYTHING. Thanks for the reminder.

2:17pm: Henry’s checking out whatever Christina is dragging under their car because every man feels compelled to point it out to Christina.

2:24:

4:58pm: You guys we just had a really great time at Stricker’s Grove even though it’s like 95 degrees out! And we got there just in time – about 40 minutes before the rides started running, and the lines for tickets were very very short. The lines were so long after the rides started. I’ll do a full recap in a separate post but it was really cool to get these two new coaster credits! Now we’re going to check into our hotel, change clothes, and head on over to King’s Island!

5:38pm: Having technical difficulties with our hotel reservation. But Henry was all AHA HERE IS MY EMAIL CONFIRMATION and what will happen next who knows but I want to stay here bc all of their art work is King’s Island-themed :(

Finally success! Booking.com didn’t send the reservation over to Hilton so they had to redo it but now we have a room and they upgraded us too!

7:14pm: We’re in line for Orion now so I think I will probably end this live blog either FOREVER or JUST FOR NOW.

I’m really just trying to ride the rides now, BRUH (sorry, I hate that word so much lol).

Jul 022021
 

Ughhh I’m still so annoyed about this day but I will still take time out of my v. important life to write about it I GUESS.

On Sunday, Henry and I toyed with the idea of driving out to Waldameer Park because they have a new spinning kids coaster and they retracked their best coaster, Ravine Flyer II. But Chooch was all, “Jim-Jim wants to hang out and he doesn’t have a phone right now so I have to sit here all day like a lady-in-waiting and hope that he stops by like he said he would.” Henry still wanted to go but it felt WRONG to go without my coaster cred-collecting partner in crime, so instead Henry and I went to Moraine State Park for a hike(ish).

I should have known immediately that it was a bad idea when we parked and were met with all these WARNING signs about HUNTERS and DEERS and ARROWS.

ARROWS!!!

I was NOT trying to get impaled by Daryl-fucking-Dixon that day so I was straight panicking about this and Henry kept stammering on and on about how it wasn’t deer hunting season and I was like, “THEN WHY ARE THESE SIGNS HERE” and he was like “YOU WILL BE FINE” and then I cried, “BUT WHAT IF SOMEONE IS OUT HERE HUNTING ANYWAY HUNTERS ARE DUMB” and he was like, “Well the chances of you getting hit by an arrow aren’t very good because they’d have to be aiming for you” and I was like, “BUT I AM NOT WEARING BRIGHT ORANGE LIKE THE SIGN SUGGESTS” and finally Henry said, “Look, if you get shot with an arrow it’s because someone was actually aiming for you, OK” and then we heard voices over yonder and I fucking screamed, “ARE YOU HUNTERS?!!?!?”

“You’re an idiot,” Henry seethed.

They didn’t answer me though.

Anyway, the trail we were on was boring We went over a stupid bridge over top of algae-laden water.

There were people kayaking there and I said, “Ew gross” and Henry was mad at me again.

Then we saw a bunch of signs about ticks and Lyme disease so I forgot about Death by Arrows because now I was too busy obsessing over blood-sucking ticks.

Everything was fine until we veered off the main trail to visit some butterfly garden thing and I wanted Henry to take my picture sitting on this pergola thingie and he was taking really ugly pictures of me so I snapped because it was still June and the case study I performed on myself several years ago proved that June is the worst month for my temperament. *shrugs*

So you know what I did? While Henry was peering into a pond and smiling at tadpoles, I ran away. Originally, I was just going to walk back to the car…

…except I got legit lost.

I mean, I had a sneaking suspicion that something was wrong when I started passing shit that I didn’t recognize, like a field with tall bird houses strewn about, a really terribly-stenched pond, and then suddenly I was walking UNDERNEATH A HIGHWAY!? I was really getting scared. Meanwhile Henry was texting me and even though I was scared I was still in Psychological Game Playing Mode so I wouldn’t give him straight answers. Also to be fair, I had no idea how to answer his “where r u” inquiries. This went on for about 30 minutes until:

Henry said he figured I went back to the car so he started heading back that way (except that he was actually going the CORRECT direction) and then he got nervous when he passed two people who also passed us when we were heading the other direction and he thought, “Oh great, they saw me going into the woods with a woman and now I’m coming out alone” HAHAHA I wish they had called the police! Henry would have been SO HAPPY since he fucking stans the cops so hard.

When we were finally reunited, I started laughing hysterically while Henry was stepping into a full-body frown and that’s basically what it’s like to be in a relationship with me: A GAME THAT GOES TOO FAR.

Then we went to get ice cream which was honestly the only thing I definitely wanted to accomplish that day and Henry knew that because the night before I said, “I don’t care what we do tomorrow as long as it involves me deep-throating an ice cream at some point” and then I also reiterated the sentiment when I woke up the next morning. I needed a cold wet treat like some people need church.

Henry took me to this dumb place that had TOO MANY CHOICES when all I wanted was soft serve so then my brain started to short circuit while looking at the menu and then I panicked and ordered a twist but now it suddenly didn’t seem good enough after being presented with OPTIONS.

LOLOLOL that dumb face.

Anyway, we sat outside in the 95 degree sun and I was so angry because we were right next to the highway and the wind kept blowing my hair in my face and every time I would stop eating to move my hair back, so much of the ice cream would melt!! And you know what I did?? I blamed HENRY and I blamed that dumb ICE CREAM PLACE and then I THREW MY ICE CREAM IN THE GARBAGE and stormed off to the car!!!

Henry had that “oh boy here we go” far-away trauma stare in his eyes (actually, it looks pretty much like the picture above) and the drive back to Pittsburgh was super icy. He kept trying to make me still want ice cream though because if there is one thing he is so great at in this relationship, it’s sabotaging my diet.

So he stopped at this place called CUSTARDS and we were in line forever and then I lost my shit because another window opened and the girl was like I CAN TAKE WHOEVER’S NEXT and that was US except that the old bitch behind us was like YA BOI IT ME and Henry let it happen! So you know what I did? I said loudly, “LET’S JUST GO” and stormed back to the car for the third time that day. He was so mad! Haha—that’s all I was trying to achieve, I just wanted him to show his true anger instead of being like YOU ARE SO CUTE AND CUDDLY WHEN YOU ARE ANGRY TEE HEE because that shit is so lame, just fight back with me until I get the giggles and then we can move on with the day and go back to pretending that I don’t have numerous psychological disorders (both diagnosed and not lolol).

But then he went back to being determined to get ice cream into my system in an effort to cool off my boiling blood, so he went to some Tastee Freeze shack near his work where we have gone numerous times before and I got a small twist in a DISH because the only thing I want dripping down my wrists is diamonds (j/k I’m into cheap costume jewelry but I recently remembered the time that my grandparents bought me a tennis bracelet and where the fuck did THAT go, I wonder).

Then I ate my ice cream and was fine for the rest of the day. (I think. That was 5 days ago at this point.)

Oh and Jim Jim never showed up, apparently, so we COULD HAVE went to Waldameer after all 😩.